Armed demonstration in Dayton canceled for Saturday

Signs, debris and graffiti damage were left in downtown Dayton Sunday morning, May 31, after protests throughout the day on Saturday in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd. CIty and county workers, business owners and volunteers spent the morning sweeping up glass and scrubbing spray paint. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

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Signs, debris and graffiti damage were left in downtown Dayton Sunday morning, May 31, after protests throughout the day on Saturday in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd. CIty and county workers, business owners and volunteers spent the morning sweeping up glass and scrubbing spray paint. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

An armed demonstration planned for downtown Dayton on Saturday has been canceled, according to its organizer.

Alec Livada, a former U.S. Navy corpsman from the Dayton area, said the planned march from the Dragons stadium to the federal building had been designed to bring attention to a policy proposal on re-establishing trust and understanding between citizens and law enforcement.

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He said two issues caused him to cancel.

“Because Dayton is still healing from the Oregon District shooting, I don’t think people are quite ready for an open-carry demonstration,” Livada said. “Even though it’s our second amendment and first amendment right to do so, that could have detracted away from the message.”

Livada said he first changed his plan to a concealed-carry demonstration for Saturday, but many of those who had earlier expressed interest backed out. He was concerned too many people were more interested in the open-carry side of the demonstration than the policy goals.

“So we canceled my demonstration,” he said.

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Livada said he intends to take part in police policy discussions in the coming weeks.

The proposal he sent out has six points — eliminating police use of chemical irritants, better police hiring and discipline practices, more mental health and scheduling support for officers, better use-of-force and escalation systems, accountability that includes third-party review, and better officer-community involvement.

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